I want our impact on the world to reach beyond the services we offer our clients. I’m passionate that everything we do as business aligns with our values to help create a better world.
We all have a part to play in restoring our planet. But as an agency owner I believe businesses should act as a force for good.
Over the past 10 month We have been working towards B Corporation certification. Certified B-Corps are a new breed of business that balance profit and purpose. To date 3,720 companies across 74 countries and 150 industries have gained certification. Together they create a global community that accelerates a global culture shift to redefine success in business and build a more inclusive and sustainable economy.
We’ve only just submitted our B Corp application and hope to hear later this year if we made it. But I wanted to explain a bit about our journey and what other businesses can do to create positive and purposeful impact.
Five years ago, I became the proud father to twin boys.
Overnight they flipped my priorities and outlook on the world. I became focussed on the idea of trying to actively make this better. And it would appear I wasn’t alone. Google search volume around climate change related terms has also grown overtime.
Who will lead change?
While recent events such as the Australian wildfires and flash flooding closer to home prove to me that action against the climate crisis must be taken now, change is happening too slowly. Politicians have other agendas; Countries battle bureaucracy and activists have been trying for years with limited success.
“The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it”
Robert Swan, Polar Explorer and Environmentalist
It is therefore down to every one of us to be the change we want to see in society. We can’t wait for big corporations to lead the way, SMEs (which account for 61% of employment and 52% of turnover in the UK) need to play their part too.
What can SME businesses do to create purposeful impact?
You don’t have to be a business selling ethical products or services to do your part in creating change, any organisation can make sustainable choices without compromising profit. Here are some ideas we have implemented at Climbing Trees.
- Sign-up to the Better Business Act. Join the mission to change UK law making every single UK company align their interests with those of society and the environment. Find out more here.
- Surround yourself with suppliers who reflect your values. From recruiters to raw materials, demand your whole supply chain align with your outlook on the world. Build this into tenders for new work and partner with your current, trusted suppliers to commit to sustainable change.
- Ensure your employees and clients are aligned to your beliefs. Be clear about what your business stands for and communicate your values so that everyone you work with can get on board. Your employer value proposition should be a huge selling point to attract likeminded talent which will in turn positively impact the experience your customers receive. If you’re a B2B business, commit to working with clients who share your vision. For us this is work in progress.
- Email storage and web hosting.Web hosting is very energy intensive. You can cut your carbon emissions considerably by choosing green web hosting companies that address this issue by investing in offsetting schemes.
- Make it easy for your employees to act responsibly. Set up your day-to-day business for success. From communal bins to aid recycling to cycle-to-work schemes, make it easy for you team to choose ethical decisions.
- Choose your technology wisely. Laptops use significantly less energy than desktops, plus they allow your team to work from anywhere reducing their commute to work emissions. Also, explore refurbished technology rather than brand new – it can save you money without having to compromise on quality.
- Offset your emissions. Climbing Trees partner with Ecologi to plant trees and reduce our carbon footprint. Over the past 16 months we have planted a forest of 10,404 trees and offset 136.76 tonnes of CO2.
These ideas just scratch the surface of what small businesses can do to create purposeful change for a better world. Climbing Trees are committed to leaving things better than we found them.
Written by Alex Holliman, Managing Director